Despite a surge in offense late in the second half, the Yale men’s soccer team endured a loss to Columbia on the road this weekend, falling by a score of 2–1.
Facing a 1–0 deficit for much of the game, Yale (1–12–1, 0–4–1 Ivy) tied the score in the 72nd minute, but a goal from the Lions (9–4–1, 3–2–0) just minutes later put the Bulldogs away for good. The loss, Yale’s sixth by one goal this season, extended the Elis’ winless streak to nine games as they head in the final three games of the 2015 season.
“After being on the back foot most of the first half, we rebounded very well in the second half, though we let the game get away from us again shortly after we equalized,” midfielder Nicky Downs ’19 said.
The Lions were nationally ranked as high as No. 21 after four straight wins early in the season. They currently sit in third in the Ivy League following losses to Brown and Dartmouth.
However, Columbia came out ready to play in the first half, making the Yale defense work hard. One of their leading scores, Andrew Tinari, got a goal past Bulldogs goalkeeper Ryan Simpson ’17 in the 42nd minute. Tinari is currently ranked third in assists in the conference with four.
At the half, the Bulldogs faced a 1–0 deficit, and they were outshot by their opponents 6–1.
“We started a bit slow and were not mentally ready in the first half,” midfielder Lucas Kirby ’19 said. “The goal right before the half was unfortunate, but in all honesty, we did not deserve to go into halftime at an even score.”
Yale, however, was able to rebound in the second period with a goal by defender Cameron Riach ’19. In the 72nd minute, Downs’ corner kick found Riach, who was able to get it past Columbia goalkeeper Kyle Jackson in order to tie up the game.
This was the second goal of the season for Riach. His previous goal, scored against Penn in similar fashion, was also assisted by Downs.
“As a defender, you don’t really get to score that often, so when you do it feels great to get on the score sheet,” Riach said. “I just hope that I can continue to score for the team.”
Downs has either scored or assisted each of the team’s four goals in Ivy play. He and forward Kyle Kenagy ’19 also had two shots each in Saturday’s match.
Despite the equalizer, the shift in momentum toward Yale did not last long. Columbia’s Arthur Bosua scored just three minutes after Riach’s goal to put the Lions ahead once again. Bosua is the fourth-leading scorer in the Ancient Eight.
Even though the Bulldogs had six shots in the last 15 minutes, they were unable to find the back of the net. This was the sixth time in which the Bulldogs fell one goal short of a tie this season.
“In the second half, we woke up and had Columbia under significant pressure for the whole half,” Kirby said. “We pushed on for the remainder of the half and felt like we dominated the play for the most part, but yet again, we were unable to execute when it mattered.”
Simpson had two saves to keep the Bulldogs at a one-goal deficit. The netminder, playing in his second game since Sept. 13, recently returned from an injury, which kept him sidelined for seven games.
With just three games remaining in the season, the Elis look to finish their campaign strong. The team still seeks its first conference win in the tenure of head coach Kylie Stannard, and the three remaining games serve as final opportunities for Yale to best its win total from last year — a single victory.
“There were many lessons to be learned from the game, and we plan to continue moving the program forward in the last few games of the season,” Kirby said.
Yale will be at Central Connecticut State this Tuesday at 7 p.m. in a non-conference match.